Saturday, January 26, 2013

Finally. A gardening speakers bureau for Buffalo Niagara.

Are you a garden speaker in the Buffalo Niagara region? Do you have an expertise of interest to garden groups, even topics like photography, floral design, botany, outdoor artwork, weekend masonry, fountains, water gardening, setting up community gardens, or travel to visit gardens around the country or world? If so, there are probably groups out there that would like to hear from you. And I want to connect the two of you.

This is a "soft launch" of Garden Talk Buffalo. I'm looking to fill out a roster of speakers that I can then promote to groups -- from garden centers to garden groups to social clubs to the libraries to scholarly discussion groups, the Botanical Gardens and everything in between. This is a "soft launch" here because not everything is 100% final on some topics/bios.

I've set up a website for Garden Talk Buffalo arranged by speaker, and by topic. It will be promoted to groups that engage speakers in the gardening realm. I'll promote it through press releases, social media, email campaigns -- and by any means necessary to make it successful. I've got 25+ years of marketing skills, 10 years of garden tourism marketing, and about six years of similar speaking gigs to back it up.

So far I have Sally Cunningham, Kathy Guest Shadrack, Pam Hoffman, Mike Shadrack, Elizabeth Licata, Connie Oswald Stofko, and myself. And there's a couple more to come. Topics include:


Garden Design
45 Gardening Tips in 45 Minutes
The Buffalo-style Garden, Gardens with Art
Express Your Personality
A Wander Through English Gardens

Secrets of Extraordinary Gardens


DayliliesGrowing daylilies
Caring for daylilies
Daylily diseases and pests
Hybridizing daylilies
Starting daylily seeds
Daylily varieties


PeopleEric Smith, Master Hybridizer

Photography
Hosta Photography

Plants

Great Garden Companions
"H2O" (Hosta, Hemerocallis and others)
Hosta: The Flowering Foliage Plant
Hostas in the English Garden
Little Hostas
Shady Characters
Transitioning to Organics

Tourism
Chelsea Flower Show
Garden Tourism
Garden Walk Buffalo
Great Gardens of the U.S. and Europe
How to Start (or jumpstart) a Garden Tour
Getting the most from a garden tour
A Wander Through English Gardens

Eight English Gardens

I'll also help promote your speaking gig with a listing on the site and through any social media I have access to -- a benefit to both the speaker (you) and the group that has engaged you.

What's the deal? I'm asking speakers for an annual fee of $25 to be listed on the site. That's it. No commissions on a speaker's fees, no kickbacks. An interested group would contact a speaker directly and leave me out of planning and payment negotiations. Any money raised would go towards the marketing of the site and speakers. If everything works right, just one speaking gig fee should cover the cost of the listing on Garden Talk Buffalo.

Please visit the site. There's some information on there on Becoming a Speaker, Tips for Speakers, FAQs for Meeting Planners, links, area blogs, videos and more.

We have a few local folks that are in demand on a national basis for their speaking engagements (the Shadracks, Elizabeth Licata, Sally Cunningham). I have, for a long time, thought that Buffalo has such a large and varied gardening culture and community that there should be a way to "line the stars up" to have one source of speakers. I've often thought that there are also plenty of people out there with specialties of interest to gardeners that are not currently out there talking to groups. I've always been impressed with the site, Great Garden Speakers, developed by Amy Stewart and other garden book authors. As soon as I saw their site, I knew a regional resource would be great for Buffalo. And some of the best information I've seen on hiring a speaker can be found here, on the Plant Delights website.

That's the plan anyway. I invite you to be part of this experiment.

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